It sounds like we’re getting a lot closer to seeing He-Man return on the big screen in the long-awaited Masters of the Universe reboot. We still have a few years to wait, according to director McG. The man behind such notable hits as Charlie’s Angels and Terminator Salvation claims he’s ready to make this live-action fantasy adaption of the popular toy and animated series his next movie. But there is still some work to be done.
Masters of the Universe has been sitting in development purgatory for quite some time. There seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel when it was announced earlier this year that director McG had taken on the task of resuscitating this dormant franchise, which has only ever seen one live-action movie to date, which arrived way back in 1987 and starred Dolph Lundgren and Courtney Cox. McG, who has mostly been working in TV the past coupe of years, spoke with IGN about his take on He-Man, giving a production update. He says this.
“It’s a very exciting moment for Masters of the Universe. We have a big meeting with Sony regarding prep of the movie on Wednesday. And we’re in the middle of a bit of a script polish, and it’s my absolute passion. I’m laser-focused on that being my next film. But I mean, you know how it works in contemporary filmmaking. You really, really have to earn the good will of the parent studio, and Tom Rothman runs a tight ship at Sony, and we’re going to get there. I’m so happy to report that to the fans.”
McG was asked about the tone of his movie. And he doesn’t shy away from the fact that this fantasy epic really has to knock it out of the park not to be just another lame reboot. He name checks a number of references he’s going after, and compares his take on Masters of the Universe to what is currently happening at Marvel. He specifically calls out Guardians of the Galaxy and Game of Thrones as reference points for what he’s planning.
“I think we want to honor the fan base, first and foremost. We also need to be cognizant of the incredible resonance of what Kevin Feige is doing with Marvel, and the balance of full-bodied entertainment. That it’s both credible and emotional, action-packed, and the story of a hero’s journey. It’s the genesis of He-Man, it’s the becoming of He-Man. We want it to be clicking on all cylinders in that regard. We’re not going to stop until we get it right. Listen, I love that movie with Frank [Langella] and Dolph [Lundgren]. I watch it, and it’s a tremendous pleasure for me to watch. I’m raised on the toys, and I’m down at Mattel all the time. We’re just really focused on getting it right. I want it to be full-bodied entertainment that respects the fan base, and is more emotional than you might imagine, inventive and original. Obviously, we’re all cognizant of what’s going on with Game of Thrones. It’s incredible. We’re cognizant of what’s going on in Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn’s doing a great job. We’re going to try to answer the call and take it higher.”
McG claims that most of Masters of the Universe will take place in Eternia, which didn’t quite happen in the 1987 live-action adaption. That cult classic instead brought He-Man and his nemesis Skeletor to the United States. The director did address recent statements from Kellan Lutz that the actor is in talks to take on the role of He-Man, but that is far from a done deal. No casting has been confirmed yet. He says this about Lutz.
“We haven’t cast the role yet, but I like Kellan very much. Obviously, we need a talented entertainer, but we also need a certain physicality, which he embodies. He’ll be considered very, very closely. We haven’t gotten to the casting process yet. Kellan’s a good guy, and we had a great meeting, and he’s passionate about He-Man, he’s passionate about the Adam story. He really knows a lot about it. I was charmed by his focus and intensity. He’ll be considered very, very carefully. We’re just not there yet. We’ve got to get the movie on its feet, then we’ll cast the movie. I think the characters are bigger than any given actor. I think the right actor is going to be what’s most important. I’m not really hung up on, “Oh, it’s got to be a star.” I just want someone who’s right for it. I enjoy working with big movie stars. I enjoy working with discoveries. We’re going to do what’s right, so it embodies the energy. Skeletor needs to be an incredible menace. I really think – again – I mean it when I say Vader, Gruber, Skeletor.”
McG went onto confirm that Evil-Lyn will be showing up in the movie. And he has clearly been inspired by what Margot Robbie did in Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn. He says this about bringing the fan-favorite character to the big screen for the first time.
“I’ve got to answer the call with Evil-Lyn, that’s for sure. Because I think what Margot Robbie just got up to with that turn [in Suicide Squad] is really, really interesting, and I want to make sure I answer the call. I even think Cara [Delevingne] did a good job in Suicide Squad with Enchantress. I want to make sure our Evil-Lyn is the standard bearer. That’s a tall order, isn’t it?”
Masters of the Universe originally launched as a Mattel toy line in 1982, and was accompanied by an animated series that served more as a commercial for the action figures than anything else. The story follows Prince Adam, who has the ability to transform into a warrior called He-Man. As He-Man, Adam becomes the last hope for a magical land called Eternia, ravaged by technology and the evil Skeletor. At this time, the Masters of the Universe reboot does not have a set start date or release date planned. Perhaps we’ll finally see it in the summer of 2019?